What I wish students would understand about writing for a college class, part 4

Assignment due. Three days away. Haven’t started writing.

Procrastination, as I stated in the last post, is the enemy of learning when it comes to college writing. Another challenge I find is that citations are REALLY tough for students.

Maybe you haven’t been expected to credit your works in text with other classes. Maybe you learned it a couple of years ago, but your instructors didn’t make you use it. Whatever the background is, know this: Your instructors in college WILL expect you to credit sources in your papers. In my class, I also expect speeches to have incredible citations.

For students enrolled in our Introduction to Oral Communication class, our library has developed a website JUST for our students. This includes the best databases for our class, as well as information on how to cite in the Works Cited page. Citing in text is a little more challenging. My recommendation is to meet with our Academic Commons Writing Tutor.

You can also schedule time with me, but I hope you will take advantage of all the personal and web-based sources our campus provides you. By working with someone who specializes in writing, you can get more information that will be more helpful and personalized to you.

If you struggle with writing skills, from grammar and punctuation to citations, I’d also recommend that you take some time to search the web for video tutoring. Lots of colleges have created short videos that can help you understand which form of a word to use (your vs. you’re; there, their, they’re; to, two, too; etc.) to how to properly cite sources within a text.

Remember this, especially in college writing, simply putting a source on the Works Cited page is NOT enough. You MUST give credit in the paper, or it’s seen as padding your source list.

One more post in this series–on grading these assignments from an instructor’s perspective.

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